Parody song: Smell ‘n Bells

Our friend The Roman Sacristan has sent us this!

"Smells & Bells"
(to the tune of "Jingle Bells")
Processing into church
It’s the TLM today
Doing liturgy right
Chanting all the way (Glo-ri-a!)
Bells at the sanctus ring
Raising our spirits high
Oh how great to have Mass and tradition back in line!
Smells & Bells
Smells & Bells
Liberals cough and fuss
Oh what fun it is to serve in cassock and surplice
Smells & Bells
Smells & Bells
Hippies start to fume
Thanks to the 16th Benedict for Summorum Pontificum!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. UST Alumnus says:

    Rules for Engagement #2) Do not strut. Let us be gracious to those who have in the past not been gracious in regard to our legitimate aspirations.

  2. Tim Ferguson says:

    Rules for Engagement #3) Show genuine Christian joy. If you want to attract people to what gives you so much consolation and happiness, be inviting and be joyful. Avoid the sourness some of the more traditional stamp have sadly worn for so long.

    As I understand it, UST Alumnus, you don’t particularly enjoy the humor of parody. That’s fine. Many others do. It’s not strutting. It’s funny.

  3. Aaron Converse says:

    In all fairness, I think that UST Alumnus is right on this one (although I loved it!); the references to ‘liberals’ and ‘hippies’ are not meant to be a respectful engagement with (at least some of) the people who are opposed to the TLM.

    OTOH, I am tempted to sing it at my old parish…

  4. Carmine says:

    I was intereseted in the TLM now I’m starting to see that it’s becoming more about- them vs us, lace vs cotton..maybe this is y the late great JPII didnt do what B16 has..pity there is no Christian charity on this site!

  5. If Fr. Z. thought this violated his OWN rules for engagement, he wouldn’t have posted it. Either that or sin has darkened his intellect, as traditional theology would have it, and he just didn’t catch it.


  6. Jordan Potter says:

    Carmine said: pity there is no Christian charity on this site!

    Pity that you’re so judgmental and condemning and prefer to paint with such a broad brush. There is no way you could have read each and every single weblog post and comment, and I doubt your intellect is infallible, so you do not have the ability to determine that there is no Christian charity here.

    By the way, my correction of your error is, according to the Church, an act of charity, which means that even if there had been no charity here before, there is now.

  7. Michael says:

    I truly enjoy parody, am not a prude, and have a great sense of humor as my friends often tell me.

    What I wanted to comment on, however, is the third line, “doing liturgy right”.

    This caught my eye and I know exactly why. For years now I have been concerned that enthusiasm for TLM (I assume that means the extraordinary form and not just the ordinary form in Latin) is an inverse lack of enthusiasm for the Second Vatican Council.

    I find conversations online and with friends/peers closely bordering disdain and sometimes even outright rejection of the Second Vatican Council. I often understand why the conversation borders this and why my friends/peers are less than enthusiastic about the Second Vatican Council, BUT I can never ever ever condone such thoughts. For, it borders on heresy.

    If “doing liturgy right” means celebrated well, beautifully and according to the rubrics and the spirit of the liturgy, then yes!, I love that line.

    But, if “doing liturgy right” means that the ordinary form is not “right” then I am once again saddened by what I read and hear.

    [pastoral note – my comment is not meant to be in-line with previous comments which focus on whether parody is charitable or Fr. Z’s intentions. I use that one line “doing liturgy right” to offer some reflection.]

  8. Settle down people. Anyone who visits my blog knows that I have nothing against the Novus Ordo, and that I am seeking to have it carried out correctly.

    Even Pope Benedict himself says that sadly the Novus Ordo is not celebrated correctly in many places, which is one of the main reasons why we have Summorum Pontificum.
    I’m just having a little celebratory fun and rejoicing that Summorum Pontificum has arrived.

    The “liberals” and “hippie” comments are just based on real life experiences.

    Some people need to lighten up a little bit. Advent is penitential, but it’s supposed to be a joyful time of preparation as well.

  9. Michael C. says:

    Yes, people, lighten up. I attend the Novus Ordo everyday and I found this song truly amusing. Now I am going to share it with all my seminarian friends who actually have a sense of humor.

  10. David says:

    C-H-I-L-L O-U-T, People.It was obviously meant to be cute and facetious. Could it have been *spoken* in a less than charitable manner? Sure. It could also have been just jokingly done, if spoken. In a situation of any ambiguity *charity* dictates you assume the *best* of the one you’re judging.

    Now, I assume you will apologize for your great *sins*.

  11. Neal says:

    I agree with the chillout comment. Anyone who believes this blog and its correspondents are devoid of charity should sample a few others. Some of them are downright defamatory. On the other hand, I’ve always gotten the sense that getting this blog’s participants together would make for an pleasant, vivacious evening.

  12. John says:

    “I was intereseted in the TLM now I’m starting to see that it’s becoming more about- them vs us, lace vs cotton…”

    I would urge Carmine to be interested in the Mass for its intrinsic holiness and beauty, regardless of the perceived good or bad traits of its supporters.

  13. Little Gidding says:

    The scansion of this ditty, anyway, is truly the devil’s work–the Monty Python crew might have been able to pull off a full-throated rendering of it, though, a la the Hegelian drinking song.

  14. Melody says:

    I say that we are all brothers and sisters in the faith, and that a little gentle teasing is to be expected among siblings. It releases tensions that can lead to a genuine lack of charity.
    The song certainly does not paint liberals as anything more than simply annoyed at conservatives getting their way. It does not say that they are “HORRIBLE people who should DIE!” (as that would be uncharitable).
    This song brought a smile to my face.

  15. Little Gidding says:

    “I say that we are all brothers and sisters in the faith”

    I agree, and say that we are all brothers and sisters in need of forgiveness. I’ve said before that I’ve found myself in recent years apologizing to my now-grown children, to their amusement, for what my generation did–and I say it as someone who was among the group being made fun of in this song.

    However, I have lately become more willing to share the burden of blame with other generations. Nowadays, it seems to me that my generation was not so very different from the generations immediately preceeding us. Maybe we simply had the opportunity to “accomplish” the desacralization that the previous generations were edging toward. Reading much in nineteenth-century literature and looking at its art and popular culture has been instructive to me. It seems certain to me now that a culture-wide spiritual crisis was brewing then and that we were headed, in small steps and large, toward a “liberation” that was meant to replace God enthroned with Man at liberty. One very great trauma along the way, I now think, that hastened and sharpened this was the First World War. The culture that emerged from that War was a wounded one, and it is not so difficult to see it struggling to free itself from its past, including its religious past. The generations that made their way through the first half of that century and beyond now seem to me to have been giving cues that the generation of the Sixties and beyond was simply following in earnest. It is easy to say that the Second World War was another blow to the culture that, in its institutional framework, placed God at the head. Nevertheless, it was a revelation to me–I think because I am an American–to realize how that crisis and turmoil was still churning and unresolved and confused even by the time of the Second Vatican Council. And Bugnini et al were from a generation that came into power long before any of us began growing our hair long. It won’t do to reduce the problem to aging hippies. Nowadays, I’m inclined to welcome–at least in spirit–those from generations prior to mine to line up behind me to drink from the same bitter cup of repentence that I have tasted. I have an idea that previous generations yet further back may also wish to get in line–it is not so difficult to see why the “Revolutionary” generations that followed the Englightenment might wish to come forward as well. But then, the line probably stretches back toward the Reformation, and even (taking a cue from the Pope’s Regensburg address) all the way back to Duns Scotus, and for all I know, back even further, maybe back to the Garden.

    In the other direction, I ask myself whether later generations than mine have done better. It does look to me like currents are running in another direction at the moment, and, to me, that is a blessed wonder. Whether it is really a sea change, I think no one can yet tell. The urge to iconoclasm is now so deep in us.

    At the Mass I attended on this Feast of the Immaculate Conception–a Novus Ordo Mass–the new choir director, playing on our parish’s wonderful new organ, had, by now, reached a point in his efforts to steer the parish’s music where he had us joyfully singing “O Sanctissima,” “Salve Regina,” “Immaculate Mary,” and “The Angel Gabriel Came Down.” I was very happy that we were taking a pass on “Taste and See” and all the rest. And I noticed that the congregation was happy, too, including the children, who were running around on the lawn afterwards singing the same tunes. Then I got into my car and turned the key in the ignition and the radio came on, XM Vox, and sitting there in the parking lot I heard the most astoundingly beautiful and ancient Mass for the feast of St. Catherine of Alexandria, sung by Cappella Romana.

    I loved the music we sang in church this morning, and I am grateful for it because it was so much better than what has been sung in that church in recent years. But for all that, I just saw The Tempest last night, and hearing that ancient liturgy on the radio made me think of Prospero’s line to his daughter Miranda when she was all a-tingle at seeing the manly form of young Ferdinand–“To the most of men this is a Caliban and they to him are angels.” There were giants walking the earth in earlier times, I think, composing liturgical music, and we have a long ways to go yet.

    Forgive me for intruding this sort of reflection in this thread, which is, after all, about the fluffy little thing that’s to be sung to the tune of “Jingle Bells,” but I was struck by how the comments so quickly turned toward something much more serious. We live in exciting times, I think.

  16. Oh what fun it is to serve in cassock and surplice

    Absolutely. Speaking of which, Father, what’s your take on that line in Sing to the Lord that says that cassock and surplice for choir, psalmist, cantor, etc. are NOT recommended? To me, that’s a first, as I’ve been wearing cassock and surplice as an 11-year-old tenor, and since 1989 as an organist – AS A RULE.


  17. Bogdan in Rome says:

    This is a mindless piece of offensive rubbish and most inappropriate in the context of the most scared of mystery of the Holy Eucharist.

    It is not too far removed either from sacriligious parody diffused throughout Germany by printing presses of the so-called reformers surrounding Luther.

  18. Bogdan: I guess that would be a “No” vote from your side, then. However, you can clarify something perhaps. Where you are, do you usually use “Jingle Bells” during the celebration of Holy Mass? Or was it the Sanctus Bells that you object to?


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